Planets align: For Sci-fi Convention, more
Doc Brown is in town? Whoa, that's heavy. Hey, Back to the Future fans, grab your flux capacitor — "it's what makes time travel possible" — and get ready to meet actor Christopher Lloyd, who's going to need some spare gigawatts to power through his busy weekend in Tampa Bay.
First, Lloyd (Dr. Emmett Brown in the BTTF trilogy as well as the Klingon commander in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) is beaming into the can't-miss Sci-fi Convention in Tampa. And it's only logical that another Trekker would join him, so William Morgan Sheppard (who played four characters in Trek's movie and TV universe) also will be on hand. Not really into the final frontier? Then look for Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) and Gary Graham (Alien Nation) among the cast of special guests. There are meet and greets, costume shows, photo and autograph sessions and celebrity dinners. (For a schedule, go to vulcanevents.com.) You can also see the DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future. Okay, it's a only working replica maintained by superfans, but please don't try hitting 88 mph in it. The convention runs 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Doubletree Hotel, 4500 W Cypress St., Tampa. $36-$60 (extra for photo, autograph sessions). (401) 488-5226.
Great Scott! You can also see Lloyd for a Q&A after a free screening of Back to the Future (PG, 1985), also starring Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson. Part of Tampa Theatre's Sunset Cinema series, the movie starts at 8:15 p.m. Saturday on a 50-foot inflatable screen at River Tower Park, 401 E Bird St., Tampa. The Q&A should start about 10:15.
We don't know of any stars planning to show up at the other sci-fi movie this weekend, 2009's Star Trek, the PG-13 reboot by director J.J. Abrams, at 8 p.m. Friday. It's free at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Read on: Tampa Comic Book Convention
Don't peel off the Vulcan ears or Romulan wig just yet. You might as well hit the Tampa Comic Book Convention, too. Get decked out as your favorite comic book hero or sci-fi legend for a chance in the costume contest. You can also immerse yourself in 85 tables of comics, videos, toys, action figures, anime, Star Wars memorabilia, artwork, trading cards and more. Guests include artists Paul Pelletier (Incredible Hulk), Mark Pennington (Aliens Vs. Predator: Three World War), Sergio Cariello (The Lone Ranger) and lots more. It runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Minnreg Building, 6340 126th Ave., Largo. $5, 12 and younger no fee. (727) 522-9032; tampacomicconvention.com.
While you're at it, pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. This year, comics include tales from Shrek, Toy Story, Iron Man — wait, is this just a way to pump up summer movie attendance? There also are many more comics including Archie, G.I. Joe and Superman. To find one of the many participating bay area stores, go to freecomicbookday.com and type your ZIP code into the store locator search box. Can't wait to get cozy with The Tick.
For the fam: Meet an astronaut
For science without the fiction, meet a real space hero: hometown astronaut Nicole Stott. The Clearwater native recently spent some 90 days in orbit, living and working at the International Space Station. There will be a small ceremony honoring her at the Clearwater Airpark's annual open house. There also will be K-9 demonstrations, children's games, face painting and touch-a-fire truck. Aircraft scheduled to appear include helicopters from the Coast Guard, Army and Bayflite. It's 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Clearwater Airpark, 1000 N Hercules Ave. Free. (727) 443-3433; clearwaterairpark.com.